The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, washed the feet of six people in York Minster today, Maundy Thursday, 29th March 2018, during the annual Chrism service, commemorating the washing of his disciples’ feet by Jesus Christ at his final meal before his arrest and execution on the cross.
The Chrism service takes its name from the oils or ‘chrism’ which were blessed at the service by the Archbishop and the Bishops of Whitby, Selby and Hull to be used for anointing the sick, at baptism, confirmation and at the ordination of deacons and priests.
The service on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday on which the death of Jesus Christ is remembered, is traditionally an opportunity for clergy to renew their ordination vows with their Archbishop and Bishops.
Those having their feet washed by the Archbishop this year included Philip Grayson, a lay pastoral assistant based at the Minster and at St Luke’s Church, York; Sharon Atkinson, the Minster’s Director of Communications, and the Revd Joe Moesel, Assistant Chaplain General, Chaplains Branch HQ1 (UK) Division at Imphal Barracks York.
Archbishop Sentamu said, “On Maundy Thursday we celebrate the Lord’s Supper and enact his command to follow his example of washing the feet of his disciples.
“As we do so we bear witness to Christ’s love and service to the whole world. We too are then caught up in Christ challenge to his disciples that they should love one another.
“To follow Christ is to do as He has done and to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit as servants of Christ and of one another in our communities washing the feet of our neighbourhoods by loving service especially to the poor and all in need.
“The way of the cross is not an easy road, but it is one on which we are called to follow Christ, and in so doing, to bring hope ‘our neighbours’.”
Clergy and lay people travelled to York from the 600 churches of the Diocese of York, which is the Church of England from the Tees to the Humber and from the A1 to the Yorkshire Coast, to the service in York Minster, Mother Church of the Diocese.